11/11/09 Orecchiette with Ricotta and Tomato

"Pi facile a dirsi che a farsi." (Easier said than done.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Angela's Organic Oregano Farm!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Porcini Mushrooms with Tarragon
  -Mushroom and Shrimp Salad
  -Orecchiette with Ricotta and Tomato

Enjoy your recipes with health and happiness!

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Yours Truly,              
Angela Reina       

 Recipe: Porcini Mushrooms with Tarragon

Porcini Mushrooms with Tarragon
Funghi Porcini al Dragoncello


8 porcini mushrooms
1 fresh tarragon sprig, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 oz (50 grams) butter
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) Gas Mark 3.

Line a roasting tin with foil.

Separate the porcini caps and stems and set the stems aside for another dish.

Place the caps in the roasting tin and place in the oven until they have dried out (if the caps are very big, make a cut in their tops with a knife).

Melt the butter in a pan.

Add the mushrooms and tarragon.

Season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat for about 18-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with the lemon juice and cook until it has evaporated, then serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Mushroom and Shrimp Salad

Mushroom and Shrimp Salad
Insalata di Funghi e Gamberetti


11 oz (300 grams) any kind of wild mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
14 oz (400 grams) cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnishing


Thinly slice the mushrooms and sprinkle with the lemon juice.

Mix the mushrooms with the shrimp in a serving bowl.

Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orecchiette with Ricotta and Tomato

Orecchiette with Ricotta and Tomato
Orecchiette con Ricotta e Pomodoro


9 oz (250 grams) canned tomatoes
2 oz (50 grams) firm ricotta cheese, freshly grated
6 fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 and 1/2 oz (360 grams) Orecchiette pasta


Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan.

Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Mash the tomatoes with a fork, add the basil, turn off the heat and cover.

Cook the orecchiette in a large pan of salted, boiling water for 10 minutes until 'al dente', drain, well and transfer to a warm serving dish.

Pour the tomato sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the ricotta cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure, a sample of today's edition:

Italy: No One Beats Our Broccoli

Rome - February 11, 2009 - "Eat your whites!" a newspaper stated, noting that a "bristly upstart" from Italy was threatening to replace the more traditional cauliflower on dinner plates across Britain.

Yesterday Italy hit back, delivering a blow in the broccoli wars that was sure to turn British growers green with envy.

Politicians lined up to extol the virtues of the Italian greens with extravagant claims that broccoli could help you to lose weight and improve your life. Its very existence, they claimed, was proof that Italy was the world's undisputed culinary superpower.

Broccoli "was inflicting a heavy defeat on British cauliflower" for the simple reason that it tasted better, claimed one. "I invite British people to taste our broccoli and test its flavor and quality for themselves," said Luca Zaia, the Italian Minister of Agriculture.

He decried a campaign by the Brassica Growers' Association to help to save the cauliflower, as reported in a newspaper on Monday, as crude "protectionism".

"We know from experience that the British cauliflower can be good," he conceded, but was quick to add: "If you eat broccoli, extra virgin olive oil and pasta you will be fit, lose weight and live better."

Cauliflower production has fallen by 35 per cent in Britain in the past decade as tastes change but the growers' association insists that the quintessentially British vegetable must be saved.

Not so, say the Italians. "It would be too easy for us to retaliate by asking Italians not to buy Aquascutum or Burberry. But we would then fall into a protectionist trap rather than relying on quality and competitiveness," said Paolo Russo, head of the Parliamentary Agriculture Commission.

He added that Italian broccoli was "inflicting a heavy defeat on British cauliflower simply because it tastes better". Mr Russo advised British people also to eat mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and Italian hams. "Italian food products are appreciated around the world because they are of high quality and their origin is guaranteed. All the rest is protectionism and an offence to consumers."

Giuseppe Politi, head of the Italian Farmers' Confederation, suggested that British farmers should go over to broccoli production rather than trying to keep the vegetable out, "which certainly will not solve the problem".

Agriculture experts said that exports of Italian wine to Britain increased by 10 per cent last year. Coldiretti, another Italian farmers' organization, told an Italian news agency: "If, according the British paper, broccoli is substituting for cauliflower in British kitchens and restaurants then perhaps wine will eventually replace beer in pubs."

"Maria, mio amore, look at all this wonderful broccoli I brought home!"
"Francesco, che bello! Where did you get it?"
"Ah, Maria, would you believe this cute politician around the corner was selling them at 10 kgs a vote?"

Fun facts about broccoli:

1) The word broccoli comes from the Latin word "brachium" and the Italian word "braccio", which means "arm".
-> The word, "politico" comes from the Greek word "polis" and the Italian word "coglione", which means...coglione.

2) Broccoli is a part of the cabbage family.
-> Politicians have no family. They are spawned by Italy. It created them! Now it's too late. We can't abandon these lonely children who are telling Italian farming associations, "Just grow the vegetables, shut up, and leave the promoting to us."

3) Eating broccoli reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and death in postmenopausal women.
-> Politicians increase the risk of just about every disease and are only interested in premenopausal women.

4) Broccoli is a cool-weather crop and grows poorly in the summer.
-> Politicians are weeds which grow savagely and always in the wrong place. Sometimes they can take over and are difficult to remove. Ornamental or introduced public representatives can become 'politicians' when they spread rapidly from their original planting spot by seeding freely or by rooting, and can overpower their better-behaved voters.

5) Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.
-> Politicians come from a variety of Italian regions, ranging from the polenta-sucking racists from Padania to the corrupt cannoli-chomping Mafia from Sicily.

6) A long time ago, broccoli was considered "exotic" in someone's personal garden.
-> A long time ago, politicians were able to balance the budget and pick their nose at the same time.

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